Dodgers News: Yoshinobu Yamamoto Focused On Control & Mechanics Against Padres

Yoshinobu Yamamoto made his fourth career start for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and second against the San Diego Padres, after he failed to reach the second inning his first time out against the rival club.

Yamamoto made his MLB debut against the Padres during the Seoul Series in South Korea when he gave up five runs in just one inning pitched. However, that wasn’t on his mind as he once again took the mound against San Diego.

“I didn’t really think about it from the last outing against San Diego,” Yamamoto said through his interpreter, Yoshihiro Sonoda. “This time, I wanted to do the same things, focusing on executing my own pitch.”

Yamamoto once again got off to a bit of a slow start as he allowed a two-run homer in the first inning, and a solo homer in the second inning.

“The first couple of innings, early in the game, I was struggling a little bit with my control, locations,” Yamamoto said. “So that’s what I was focusing on to adjust as the game was moving on.”

Yamamoto said the command issues were due to his mechanics, and he made an adjustment, which allowed him to throw three consecutive scoreless innings before he was removed from the game with 91 pitches through five innings.

“He did a nice job settling in,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Unfortunately, like most of his starts early on, he accrues a higher pitch count. But innings, three, four, and five, the breaking ball was sharp, the split was back, fastball was good. Still taking some good swings on him. But he really settled in nicely.

“And it’s just one of those things where his pitch count was up. And at that point in time, just can’t run him back out there for the sixth. But I thought he did a nice job leaving the game with the lead and settling in nicely.”

Yamamoto finished his outing with three runs allowed on four hits with six strikeouts and one walk over five innings. He exited the game with a lead, but the Dodgers’ bullpen was unable to hold it.

Dodgers looking into Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s early inning struggles

All of Yamamoto’s struggles with the Dodgers through four starts have been early in the game before he settles down and finds his rhythm. Roberts isn’t sure why that’s the case, but it’s something the organization will look into and see if they can help him adjust.

“I don’t know that answer,” Roberts said. “He’s still trying to feel his way. I think it’s only been four starts. So I don’t know why that first couple of innings why the pitch count gets up, and he sort of settles in as the game progresses.

“We’ll kind of dig in on that, but I don’t know that answer right now.”

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